Following on from female 'singer' Sweet Ann, Power FX have launched Big Al. Al is a sort of "show" singer created using their Vocaloid technology and was originally based on Mr Presley, but clearly this has changed since his first creation.
Clearly vocal synthesis still has some way to go when it comes to single solo voices, but used in the background, Big Al may get a paying gig or two
Here's what they have to say about him in their press release...
Have you ever dreamed of having your own Vocal Avatar who will sing back the words you type in to your PC? Have an idea for a song and you would like to hear it sung back immediately or how about sending a singing email message?
Sound futuristic? Well its here and now with the latest release from PowerFX, Big Al.
Big Al was developed using the latest VOCALOID 2 software from Yamaha and is the perfect tool for any creative, digital music maker. Type in words or lyrics, select a melody and hear the results "sung" back. You can use the included tools and effects to improve or manipulate your results. Big Al can sing up to 16 times simultaneously, so you can create backing vocals or choirs with unmatched range and control.
"The Vocaloid community is active, especially in Japan and the release of a booming male vocalist is much anticipated", says PowerFX CEO Bil Bryant. "Although Vocaloid and vocal synthesis is an evolving technology, the Vocaloid user community enjoys combining illustrations and video with the Vocaloid artist's performances to make their own unique entertainment genre", added Bryant. "Vocaloid as a sound source is a vastly under looked tool, for instance you could use Big Al to create a bass line with a unique vocal characteristic."
Big Al´s vocals come from a real singer who was recorded extensively, enabling PowerFX to create a comprehensive library of his vocal sounds. VOCALOID software users type in words and assign melodies or import midi files to Big Al. He then emulates the words and notes given to him. Expressive effects, vibrato and dynamics can also be added to his singing from the VOACALOID editor. All of this makes for an exciting process with lots of creative possibilities.
The Big Al/Vocaloid package includes a standalone version with export to wav functionality, Real-time VSTi performance and ReWire connectivity.
Pricing and Availability:
Available as a download for $149 or $179 for the DVD.
The first one he plays is actually rather lovely....
Gaz Williams gives us some insight into the new version